Opinion Piece: Demystifying LTE
Data is being consumed rapidly and consumers require instant communication and access to information. This is mostly due to the emergence and increased availability of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as more and less costly bandwidth. These ‘smart devices’ are allowing users to access the Internet, visit social media pages, access YouTube video’s and communicate with one another. As such, consumers are demanding faster Internet speeds, allowing them to upload and download at the proverbial rate of knots. Furthermore, cloud platforms such as Dropbox, are also adding to the need for instant Internet access and faster Internet speeds. 3G speeds have worked well for voice and limited speeds with data downloads and uploads, however, Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the answer to the need for super-fast connectivity. The questions begs - what is LTE really, how does it benefit the consumer and is there a downside to this technology?
According to Wikipedia, LTE can be defined as “a wireless communication of high speed data for mobile phones and data terminals”. LTE is currently being rolled out globally and according to GSA’s Evolution to LTE Report, there are currently 300 commercially LTE launched networks in 107 countries. South Africa is one of these countries. This reports also confirms that 1 563 LTE-enabled user devices have been launched since 2014, compared to 63 in February 2011. In short, LTE is on the rise.
Furthermore, according to the SA Mobile Report by Effective Measure (March 2014), 92 percent of Internet users in South Africa own a smartphone. This report also confirms that 80.2 percent of South Africans make use of their smartphone to access the internet, while 19.8 percent still make use of traditional methods such as ADSL. It can therefore be confirmed that consumers are making use of smartphones and tablets to access the Internet, participate on social media platforms and more. However, how will LTE benefit these users?
LTE is able to provide users with Internet speeds up to three times faster than 3G, reaching up to 150 Megabits per second (Mb/s) in ideal conditions. These speeds may also vary depending on the operator infrastructure, the device, the manufacturer and the speeds it supports. However, these speeds provide users with a general estimate of what speeds can be reached with LTE. These increased data speeds provide users with faster uplink speeds (approximately 50Mb/s) and faster download speeds (approximately 100Mb/s).
LTE and the high speeds it delivers allow consumers to upload and download content, participate in video chats and conference calls, stream and watch High Definition (HD) videos with minimal buffering. It also provides faster access to various multimedia applications faster than ever before. In addition to the benefit of speed, LTE provides users with network stability.
However, consumers need to consider a few factors before going the LTE route. Consumers who make use of their cell phone for phone calls only would not require LTE as LTE provides users with increased data speeds and will have no effect on standard voice calls. Another factor to consider is that although recently released mobile devices are LTE-enabled, LTE coverage is not available everywhere. It must be noted that LTE is still currently in its infancy stages in South Africa as networks are not readily geared up for it. Local network providers are currently rolling out LTE, however, the best coverage is generally only available in metropolitan areas.
This is due to the fact that central areas where data usage is required and consumed on a much higher scale such as business hubs are addressed first. Areas where LTE coverage has been rolled out includes Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and Bloemfontein. Users can expect LTE to be rolled-out more aggressively in the future by leading network providers in South Africa, further extending coverage to outlying areas.
It is clear that the users are consuming information more rapidly than ever before and the demand for faster Internet speeds is on the increase. LTE is the future for data consumption, providing users with faster download and upload speeds than 3G. These speeds will provide users with quicker access to the Internet, no buffering on HD videos or video calls and instant access to information. LTE is the ideal wireless communication for the always on the move, always connected consumer.
Photo Caption: Fayaaz Seedat, Huawei Consumer Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation (DCC).
Eskom has released a statement saying that their generators are running smoothly, and that there is a possibility that there will be no load shedding this weekend.
South Africa has deployed its first batch of trained healthcare professionals to work in Sierra Leone, in an effort to help contain the spread of Ebola Disease Virus in the country and other parts of West Africa.
In a few short weeks, 2015 will be upon is. Our technology future is bright and there’s much to look forward to in the New Year, including a desire for endpoint protection that goes above and beyond protection inside your organisation’s four walls, an increased emphasis on analytics and pressure to calm the growing Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) storm.
Setting up a home network has never been easier thanks to the new Huawei AF23 Wi-Fi/LAN adaptor from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC)...
Each summer brings an influx of visitors to coastal resorts across the Eastern Cape. From East London through to Port Elizabeth, Knysna and the Garden Route, demand on Vodacom’s mobile network increases dramatically as people flock to the coast to take a break with friends and family.
Information Technology (IT) has become an essential component of practically every business today, underpinning the basic functioning of the enterprise. As such, providing effective IT services is critical to the efficiency and profitability of the enterprise. IT Service Management (ITSM) offers the best practice tools and processes necessary for improving the delivery of IT services. However, a common mistake enterprises make is regarding the service desk alone as the ‘silver bullet’ to deliver the required level of ITSM and improved service delivery. A service desk is one function of ITSM, and is a useful first step along any service improvement journey.
It was the late Maya Angelou who once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” While this quote is applicable in everyday life, perhaps is it something that more business owners need to start living by, especially when it comes to their customers. Maria Stathoulis, the new owner of the Sandwich Baron Sandton store, believes that success needs to go hand-in-hand with customer service, because how you make your customers feel will determine how loyal they are to your business.
In another first for the South African Internet Service Provider (ISP) market, XDSL is launching free value-adds with all its dedicated fibre broadband offerings. These value-adds include standard items such as Quality of Service (QoS), firewalls and pro-active 24x7 security monitoring. Included in these value-adds are additional local firsts such as a free fully hosted PBX, a free entry-level virtual server, free Internet traffic to and from hosted servers, and fully guaranteed uncontended throughput.
Most people see credit as a means to an end. It enables us to purchase something when our budgets are stretched, or alternatively to fund a big-ticket item that exceeds our cash flow. Credit also plays a significant role in building wealth. Used wisely, credit can assist us in buying a home, funding education or taking advantage of other opportunities to grow our wealth portfolios.
Completing important documents and contracts using the traditional ‘wet ink’ signature method has become out-dated in today’s digital, fast-paced electronic world. Collecting signatures typically ends up as a long and inefficient process
- 18-year-old male drowns in PE spear fishing tragedy
- One of Port Elizabeth's most wanted gangsters expected in court after weekend arrest
- Stolen electronics valued at R80 000 and destined for PE intercepted in Alexandria
- Two killed, one wounded in Bloemendal weekend shooting
- Woman arrested in Grahamstown with dagga worth over R200 000